Trigger warnings synthesis paper
A “trigger warning” is a warning that the course materials will soon discuss a topic that some students may find distressing. The argument for its elimination argues that doing so would eliminate the bedrock of a multicultural classroom, leading to increased conformity in pupils’ worldviews. If you take an outsider’s perspective, you might find some evidence to support the idea. Resistance to tackling controversial themes in schools should not inhibit learning. Racial prejudice is not a topic that should be brought up in a classroom where the majority of students are white and minorities make up a small percentage of the student body.
However, it is still important to discuss for the reasons stated. Students can develop their leadership skills by facing and overcoming obstacles in the classroom, therefore avoiding them outside of school is counterproductive. I’m sorry to say that this line of defense was not taken. The professors who were quoted as arguing that “trigger warnings” were detrimental to good teaching practice were acting selfishly and stupidly (Laguardia 893). Teachers should be concerned about their kids’ mental health, but instead they’re focused on the students’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly. As a result of the fact that each student has their own set of mental health difficulties, it is imperative that institutions adopt the usage of trigger warnings to safeguard the whole student population.
The modern approach to education emphasizes the unique needs of each learner. For some years now, both advocates and opponents of using trigger warnings in classrooms have made their voices heard. Advocates of required trigger warnings in schools argue that they provide kids with a consistent and equitable strategy for coping with potentially distressing content (Lundstrom et al., 4). On the other hand, many who believe that utilizing trigger warnings in schools is a type of immature protection for students that is harmful to education contend that it is an attempt to suppress free expression. Here, I’m publicly advocating for the inclusion of trigger warnings. This is because it helps students develop critical thinking skills and an ability to approach new information with an open mind, both of which are necessary for success in later courses. Trigger warnings are an integral element of education because they help students prepare for challenging topics and keep troubled individuals from reacting negatively to content they may find upsetting.
Proponents of mandatory trigger warnings in schools argue that they are especially important for pupils who learn best when presented with rigorous challenges (Chemaly 626). There is a widespread misunderstanding that trigger warnings are inherently bad and that anything carrying such a mark should be avoided. But this line of thinking is faulty because it misunderstands the point of trigger warnings. Such warnings used before to a presentation might wake students up and get them thinking critically about the topic at hand. Therefore, trigger warnings in this setting are meant to help students prepare for what they may encounter. They might not have to ignore the subject entirely and can now approach it more carefully. If the piece of literature is challenging, a trigger warning can help students prepare for the challenge ahead rather than run away from it (Medina 333). In other situations, trigger warnings will help students who struggle with their emotions to be more cautious around violent and painful content, and to look for alternate ways to absorb the knowledge without being exposed to disturbing imagery. Schools are looking into methods that emphasize students’ emotional and psychological growth as part of the educational experience.
The use of trigger warnings in the classroom is still questioned by some, despite the benefits it provides students and the fresh perspective it affords them as they address hard subjects. There are many who believe it is unnecessary to issue trigger warnings to students and that doing so just serves to stifle their right to free speech and to baby them (Laguardia 892). There is no use in trying to coddle children into learning; instead, they need to be exposed to the often harsh realities of school (Medina 621). Some people consider teachers who give students trigger warnings as being overprotective when they should be preparing students for the real world. Many people feel that teaching students to recognize and avoid triggering events hinders their ability to think critically and participate in classroom discussions of contentious issues.
In a recent statement, the American Association of Professors expressed concern that trigger warnings could have unintended consequences. If “the voluntary use of trigger warnings… indicate that individuals would respond poorly to specific issues,” then students are presented as helpless victims rather than active participants in classroom discussions and debates (Wyatt 19). That’s why it’s not enough to just give students trigger warnings before exposing them to potentially distressing material; rather, “necessary accommodations should be done on individual basis” to avoid compromising the learning potential of otherwise good materials.
Even if a student is sick and can’t go to class, they are still expected to meet all course requirements, like reading the assigned materials and watching the required films. If a student misses class for any reason, I won’t lower my expectations or give them extra credit on quizzes, tests, papers, or other assignments. When a student (usually a rape victim) tells me she can’t come to class because of what we’re going to talk about, I tell her she can use one of her two absences for whatever she needs (sickness, family emergency, etc.). If she hasn’t gotten help for her mental health problems yet, I tell her what’s out there (Wyatt 27). No student with PTSD has ever told me that they couldn’t finish the readings we were given. Some students may choose not to read all of their assigned readings for a number of different reasons. Some young people may need a trigger notice before they can watch or read something with sexual or violent content. But preparations will look different for each student, depending on how well they are getting better.
According to Mental Health America, different people may react in different ways. Some students might do better in class if they saw a counselor before class, while others might do better if they did something else (Graff and Birkenstein 2018). Someone in your class might have to miss some or all of your classes. It’s not clear if professors should use the phrase “trigger warning” or not. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should be talked about to help students understand how important this warning is. They might not be able to tell the difference between things that make them upset for reasons unrelated to their trauma and things that might make their PTSD come back. Most students don’t like having to watch documentaries or movies about genocide or natural disasters for school. It’s important to remember that not all students who show strong emotions are reliving traumatic events. This is especially true if they have never been through something as traumatic as genocide or a natural disaster.
In the end, Students today don’t have to worry about being threatened in class because they were born in the modern period. Students at today’s colleges and universities are easily swayed by their peers, the media they consume, and the ideas presented in books and films. Teachers can aid their students in preparation for class by providing trigger warnings. Modern students benefit greatly from trigger warnings because they give them time to prepare for potentially distressing discussions. If a student or parent feels their rights were infringed or if they claim the lesson made them feel worse, they cannot sue the teacher in court.
Chemaly, Soraya. “What’s Really Important Abou‘Trigger Warnings,’.” Huffington Post (2014): p.626 t
Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2018). “They say, I say”: The moves that matter in academic writing (Fourth edition.). WWNorton & Company.
Laguardia, Francesca, Venezia Michalsen, and Holly Rider-Milkovich. “Trigger warnings.” Journal of Legal Education 66.4 (2017): 882-903.
Lundstrom, K., Diekema, A., Leary, H., & Haderlie, S. (2015). Teaching and learning information synthesis: An intervention and rubric based assessment. Communications in Information Literacy, 9(1), 4.
Medina, Jennifer. “Warning: The literary canon could make students squirm.” The New York Times 17 (2014): 333-53.
Wyatt, Wendy. “The ethics of trigger warnings.” Teaching Ethics 16.1 (2016): 17-35.